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By Matthew Rosen

Welcome back to Binghamton! Unfortunately, it brings me great sadness to admit that I return to school with some bad news for all of you. As I am typing this article, I worry that by the time this issue comes out, you may already know what news I am talking about. I fear the world will be a completely different place, and this article’s warning will be too little, too late. My bad news is that… the world is ending. I know; there have been numerous predictions for the end of the world before, but this one is real, I swear!

The reason why this end of the world prediction is different than the ones in the past is because the US government is SHUT DOWN! As of the day I am writing this, it has been one month since Trump shutdown the government, and life seems to be getting worse every day. If the shutdown lasts for two months, then the dead will rise, essentially starting the zombie apocalypse. If the shutdown reaches 75 days, all of the US nuclear weapons will fire automatically, killing billions. Honestly, I have no idea what would happen if the shutdown reaches 100 days… something terrible no doubt… something like us losing net neutrality, or even worse, Brett Kavanaugh being appointed to the Supreme Court. CNN told me that if those things happened, we would all die, so I can’t picture anything worse than losing net neutrality or having Kavanaugh on the bench. I am hoping that my article prints in time for President Trump to see this and end the shutdown. Maybe if we all scream at him that the world is ending, he’ll ask for something more reasonable like $1 for border security.

Ok now that my audition for the New York Times or CNN is over, let’s try to be a rational human being. Let me be clear, the first two paragraphs were jokes meant to point out how ridiculous the Democrats are being. Also let me be clear about me being clear; when I say “Democrats,” I am mainly talking about prominent Democrats, like Congressional Democrats or Democrats in the mainstream media. I am in no way saying that all Democrats are the same way. Normally I wouldn’t find the need to clarify that, but in 2019, if you make a joke and fail to clarify what you meant, you tend to get viciously attacked by people who disagree.

Anyway, President Trump is asking for $5.7 billion to secure our Southern border. The US government spends more than twice that much every single day. This is pocket change for the US government. So what makes this $5.7 billion different than any other billion dollars we spend? In the eyes of the Democrats, this $5.7 billion is different because… well… IT’S TRUMP ASKING FOR IT. Just ignore the fact that the Democrats supported border security and a physical barrier about ten years ago, because… well…#OrangeManBad. So what makes this $5.7 billion different in the eyes of Republicans? This $5.7 billion is a campaign promise that the American people voted for in order to save lives, save money, and is something that the federal government actually has constitutional jurisdiction and responsibility over.

So with the information above, I want to ask, which party is really being unreasonable? Is it the party that was elected largely on border security and is asking for a reasonable amount of money to save lives and money? Or is it the party that spends trillions of dollars on literally everything, but won’t spend federal pocket change for something necessary and voted for? The Democrats used to be for border security until Trump asked for it. Now Democrats want you to believe the the illegal crime rate is 0% and that illegal immigration costs the taxpayer nothing. I remember when it was common sense that countries have borders and rules governing those borders, and that you can only move to another country if you apply through appropriate channels. I remember when it was common sense that sneaking across a country’s border should be considered a crime. Regardless of how effective/ineffective our immigration system was, it seemed that those facts were basically agreed upon.

In 2019, it is impossible to agree on anything anymore, even something as simple as the idea that walls do in fact work to keep people out. There is nothing immoral about a physical barrier. You do have them at your house, right? The cliché that the President has reiterated is true: You have walls to protect the people on the inside, not because you hate the people on the outside. All a wall will do is direct all people who come to the United States towards a legal point of entry. Even the border security agents agree that they need a wall and new technology in order to protect the border. Walls work.

Yes, this article is written more informally than most of my previous articles on purpose. The reason for that is because I am genuinely exhausted from the heated rhetoric from the left, and the inability to negotiate with them. If Democrats wanted to refuse funding for a short period of time to play politics and negotiate, then that’s fine by me. But instead, they refuse to negotiate, refuse any deal Trump gives them, and then uses mainstream media to insult the President, calling him things like an “amoral hostage taker” (Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI). If the Democrats are going to blatantly say that they will not negotiate and will not give more than $1 to him, then it is them that is holding the government hostage. In 2013, when the Republican Congress wouldn’t give Obama the funding for Obamacare (which shut down the government), Democrats blamed Republicans. And to be clear, even though I agree with the 2013 Republicans, Republicans definitely caused the 2013 shutdown. So if you look at that case, Democrats seem to be claiming that the Congress who refuses to fund the President’s agenda is at fault for the shutdown. Now if you apply it to 2019, it is House Democrats who are refusing to pay for the President’s agenda…  so shouldn’t they be at fault this time? The difference is that in 2013 the Republicans tried to negotiate, failed, and ended up giving President Obama what he wanted. Now it is time for the Democrats to do the same.

I have to admit, in the beginning of this article I was a smidge hyperbolic. But there is a reason for that. Government shutdowns are honestly not the end of the world. All of the panic by Democrats are simply a tactic to try and get President Trump to end the shutdown. During government shutdowns, all essential government functions are still running, and all government employees will get their back pay once the government is reopened. The President has every right to not sign a bill that he doesn’t like, and that includes bills to fund the government that purposely leaves out his primary demand.

One option for the President is declaring a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and direct resources towards building the wall. I am 100% against this proposition for many reasons. If President Trump declares a national emergency, you will most likely be reading another article of mine in the future criticizing the decision. First of all, if Trump declares a national emergency, it will most likely be struck down by a court as executive overreach, and we will never get a wall. Even more importantly, declaring a national emergency for this is executive overreach. Just imagine if President Obama did something like this. Republicans would be rightfully outraged, so they should be equally outraged over Trump doing it. Plus, if Trump does declare a national emergency, it will green light Democrats to use this power in the future to declare climate change a national emergency. The executive has constraints for a reason.

Let’s all be honest now, Nancy Pelosi has no intention of ever negotiating with Trump after the government is reopened. She blatantly admitted that she would never negotiate for a wall. This is President Trump’s only leverage, and it is the smartest political move for him. While I do wish he did this a year and a half ago when he had a Republican Congress, that doesn’t mean I believe he should back down now. He should be giving rational speeches every day until the Democrats are forced to make a deal. He should be making the Democrats explain why they are being stubborn over a small amount of money for security, but will spend trillions on literally anything else. He should be giving the facts about how little it will cost relatively, and how much money it will save taxpayers. All of this would be his best option since the Democrats have not given a single good reason for why the wall would be bad.

President Trump needs to make it clear to the American public that if no deal is struck, it is because the Democrats are being stubborn obstructionists, while he was willing to compromise. He offered them the opportunity to help design the wall, he offered them one of their campaign promises (DACA) in exchange for the wall, and he even said he was willing to ask for less money, all in an attempt to compromise. This government shutdown is solely due to Democrats in Congress being stubborn due to their personal hatred towards President Trump. Please, President Trump, do not cave.

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